Best Boats Nominated 2023 >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

It’s boat show season in the United States that prompts magazines to hold their “best boat” contests. Here’s the preview from SAIL magazine:


The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. This is partly the time. Some of them are just the way of the world. Either way, it can be fascinating to watch how the boatbuilding industry has evolved over the years, as evidenced by SAIL magazine’s annual Best Boats competition.

Recently, for example, it sometimes seemed like it was becoming a ‘multihull world’, so to speak, with cats and tris taking up a larger and larger segment of each new Best Boats class. Same with the ever-increasing size of boats arriving, as production builders around the world begin to push their way into megayacht territory. The Class of 2023, however, has largely reversed these trends.

That’s not to say there aren’t some beautiful new multihulls, including the Balance 442 and a number of other comfortable cruisers from Bali, Lagoon and Fountaine-Pajot. However, the monohull contingent is more than holding its own this time around.

It also feels like a lot of the mid-sized boats are leading the charge these days as opposed to the big boys. Examples include the J/45, Dehler 38SQ and a pair of Beneteaus in the 30ft range. Then, of course, there is the latest inflatable skiff from Tiwal in France. The more it changes, the more it is the same thing, indeed!

One thing that hasn’t changed is how SAIL’s Best Boats panel will once again fan out across the industry throughout this year’s boat show season in search of their favorite new designs. Look for our selection of winners in the January issue of SAIL. For the nominees, click here.

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